People are declaring the day after Thanksgiving ‘Buy Nothing Day’ as part of a backlash against Black Friday

Actress Shailene Woodley weighed in to support #BuyNothingDay on Twitter. Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Black Friday is infamous for drawing huge crowds of deal-hungry shoppers into stores across the United States and around the world.

But some people are now marking the day after Thanksgiving by abstaining from purchasing retail goods. Many have taken to social media to critique Black Friday under the hashtag #BuyNothingDay.

Buy Nothing Day is nothing new. The protest against rampant consumerism was the brainchild of Canadian artist Ted Dave. The campaign gained steam in the 1990s when it was picked up by the nonprofit Adbusters.

This year, actor and activist Shailene Woodley lent her support to the campaign on Twitter, urging followers to stop fuelling “corporate polluters.”

Other commenters expressed their support for the campaign, citing reasons like environmental concerns, unwillingness to support multinational retailers, and disillusionment with consumerism.^tfw^tfw

Others, like Civil Eats journalist Nadra Nittle, used the hashtag to share a word of caution about the backlash. In a 2018 piece published in Vox, Nittle wrote that the censure of Black Friday often takes on a racist and classist tone, with negative media coverage of Black Friday often vilifying low-income individuals and people of colour.